Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bunk Beds for Friends!

Consuella, daughter of Matt, one of Re-Member's construction leaders... and my best friend here.
Friends. We have so many friends out here. Friends whose stories we're hearing and aching for. Friends who inspire and move us to go deeper into the earth, our spirits, our connectedness to all things. The Lakota end every prayer with the phrase Mitakuye Oyasin, which means We Are All Related or We Are Related To All Things. The two-leggeds, the four-legged and the winged... We are one family, meant to honor and care for each other.

Still, we live in a system that doesn't support such communalism, and the Lakota have been made to suffer countlessly by the powers at large, particularly the US government. The history is depressing. The current situation isn't much brighter. But the Lakota are creative survivors, helping themselves and each other to get through. Our friends here have let us know how we can help, too--bunk beds.

Each winter thousands of Lakota children hurdle up on floors of delapidated trailors alongside elders to brave another freezing night. Within one week I have met over 20 youth who have told me that they have never slept in a bed. I talked with them in their homes as I, alongside a handful of Re-Member volunteers, delivered and constructed their very first beds. As they jumped into fresh linens, we watched something shift in them--something tangible--a small sense that somehow, they are cared for, held, safe.

Crystal--a nine year old girl--saw us as we were delivering bunk beds to her neighbors. She came up to me and told me that she lives with ten other kids, none of which have beds, and did we have any more left for her family. Luckily, that day we did. Other days, our lumber supply is too low because we don't have the funds and we have to put people on the wait list.

Through Re-Member, it takes $100 to build a set of bunk beds, including mattresses, sheets and pillows. That means it takes $50 to give a child her first bed. Just 50 bucks.

This year already, Re-Member has delivered 83 bunkbeds, creating 166 beds for the Lakota thanks to generous donations by supporters.

In one week as a Program Manager, I make $150. Not much, but enough to give three kids a place to rest at night.

I'll get the ball rolling by pitching in $150 for three friends.

Will you contribute $50 to give a child his first bed? 
Or $100 for a whole set?
$150 makes you matching royalty.
Above that, I just love you.
If you're living on a budget, you can still help by chipping in any small amount ($5, $10, $20) and/or spread the word on Facebook, Twitter and e-mail!

Every bit counts and we appreciate your generosity!

These children are my best friends on the Rez--full of imagination, play, and zest. Let's be part of the village that raises these kids--part of the human family that leaves no strand behind.

Thank you for your courage. Mitakye Oyasin... Let's do this thing!

If we can raise $5,000 or more, Brian will donate one weeks' pay for good measure.

PS--Please leave a comment or e-mail me with your address if you donate so I can thank you personally!
PPS--All donations go directly to Re-Member and are tax deductable. They will send you confirmation in due time.


  1. Woohoo! Add one more bed to the count :)

  2. Judy and I were happy to donate one more bed.

    the two of you
    hug others
    by your genuine

    You listen.